One exercise I sometimes include in my workshops involves one student reading a speech, while another finds gestures to go with it. It’s a slightly artificial exercise, as the sheer amount of gesticulating which results is way more than even I would use in performance, but it does help illustrate and exercise the connection between words and movement, and when I unexpectedly ask the student who is doing the gestures to then do both the moves and the words together it shows how quickly lines can be learned when they have a physical context.
I don’t remember exactly how or when I stumbled across this video of a ‘mime’ interpretation of the pop song ‘Torn’, but when I did I was not only amused by how it resembled my workshop exercise, but also very impressed with the fluidity, speed and precision of David Armand’s movement.
If I were a teacher, with the equipment to play my students video, I would show this as a part of every course!
I’m not the only one who was impressed by Armand’s skills. Natalie Imbruglia, the Torn singer, later appeared with David Armand at the Secret Policeman’s Ball and gamely joined in the mime routine, although sadly the video of them together is no longer to be found on youtube.